Monday, May 20, 2013

The Superfood Grocer's Going Super Learning Workshop

Last April 27, I dragged J to a workshop held by The Superfood Grocer which is the Going Super Learning Workshop. From their website:

Our much raved-about, eye-opening learning workshop on going healthy

•Our much raved-about learning workshop
•Includes 4-Course Vegan Meal
•Green Smoothie Demo

I can't recall exactly how I came about The Superfood Grocer but after signing up for their free newsletter, tips, and the promise of a free vegan cookbook, I was exchanging emails with Carmela, one of the owners of the shop, about blenders. There wasn't any scheduled workshops at that time and I told her to give me a heads up if one would be held sometime soon. She said that yes, a workshop is in the works and she'd tell me about it.

The notice came in the form of their newsletter and Carmela also told me about it in one of her email replies. However, I was short of funds at that time and I'd only be able to pay the next week so I didn't "order" two slots in their website. When I was ready, there weren't any slots left already and the workshop is still two weeks away! So I emailed Carmela and asked her if there really wasn't any more slots as I wanted to go with my husband. Thankfully, she told me to just go and pay and that she'd make sure to make it work so we can squeeze in (what a darling and I instantly loved her. Haha!). So I did pay and next think I knew, she was sending a reminder already to those who reserved slots.

So Saturday came and I was so excited. Despite the sad news surrounding my husband's family, I didn't let it dampen the chance to meet like-minded people and get the boost and encouragement I need to start a healthier lifestyle. So off we went to Quezon City at 12NN, not wanting to be late and not knowing the traffic conditions of the streets we will be passing on a Saturday afternoon as we don't frequent the North. We arrived at the venue at 12:30PM, thirty minutes early and the early birds. It was a quaint house, nestled at the corner of the street and there was a big open space seen through the window where the chairs were set up.

Yes, that pic on the right is chap chae. Perks of being early. ;)

At around 1PM, people slowly trickled in and Carmela already put on an appearance that we'll just wait for the other participants and then we'd start. While still waiting for everyone to arrive, Carmela gave out a simple questionnaire on all the food that we ate the day before. She said there were no right nor wrong answers but that the questionnaire basically would make us feel a little bit guilty and to give us insight on what we've been putting into our bodies.

Please don't judge me... ;)

After answering the short questionnaire, Carmela showed us short clips from a documentary, which I believe the title is Food Matters. It talked about how the food we eat affects our whole wellbeing. And that pharmaceuticals creates customers and not cure. After the clip, we were given another set of questionnaire, this time, on how "Super" we are, or in short, how healthy are we. The highest score is 20, and the lowest is -40. After computing for our scores, I looked at J's paper and noticed that he was -16 while I was -18. I couldn't believe that he was more "Super" than me until I saw that he computed it wrong.


After this survey, we proceeded to why we came to this session. Carmela started talking about why her whole family became vegans and why she started looking into a healthier lifestyle. Her mom has diabetes and if they could find an alternative to her mom's medicines or better if her mom stopped all her medications altogether, then they would do it. And they found it by incorporating smoothies and having a plant-based diet.

Carmela and Ralph explained how diabetes actually starts, that diabetes and cancer were "affluence" diseases. Meaning that those two, and some other diseases come about with this thinking: the higher your income, the more chances of you eating certain kinds of food that are, yes, expensive like steaks, lechon, etc.  because you are expected to eat those with the amount of salary that you take home. They also said that diabetes is actually because of fatty foods, where the fats and oils coat our cells, making it harder for the sugar to penetrate and move about our body, which then are trapped in our blood stream making our pancreas work overtime to create insulin to regulate the glucose in our blood. Until it's overworked and unable to provide insulin for the amount of sugar not getting absorbed by our body. Did not get it? Check out this out.

From the discussion of diabetes, they moved on to cravings, our feelings after eating (sluggish or sleepy) and why these are so. We crave for certain types of foods because our body tells us that it needs something that it's lacking. For example, we may be craving for sweets but what our body is actually telling us is that it needs some more carbohydrates, a specific vitamin, etc. We'll eat donuts and our body processes it, finds it did not meet what it needs so another craving hits. It becomes a vicious cycle until we realize that we've been eating unhealthy foods and then we look at the mirror and bam.

And that's where the vegan diet comes in. And the smoothies, of course. Everything that our body needs, all the nutrients that it needs to function well and to repair itself are in the vegetables, fruits, seeds and nuts available for our consumption. When we start eating nutrient-dense foods, our cravings will stop and we will see a beautiful change with ourselves: more energy, better sleep, glowing skin...

More talk and then came the smoothie demonstration. Carmela showed us how to make a green smoothie using bananas, kang kong, and strawberries. Then we were served scrumptious food: minestrone, vegan lasagna. For the dessert, Carmela made it for us: raw and vegan ice cream using frozen bananas, frozen coconut milk (gata), frozen strawberries, and some ice, then topped with cacao nibs.

Talking, demo, lasagna, cacao nibs, and ice cream!

Q&A portion as we eat our dessert and one last video showing a 70yr old woman who looks like she's only in her 40's due to eating raw food only. A few closing remarks and the workshop was done.

My take during the workshop: I'm at least on the right track and Jaypee now "listened" to what I've been telling him ever since, to eat more greens (cooked or not) for better health and to become fitter.


Jenny said...

Thanks Pat! Mas effective talaga na magkasama kayo ni Jaypee! dapat i should also bring stan along.

Patricia Grace Palma-Soliman said...

Yes, mas effective talaga. As in Jaypee said na mag gulay na daw talaga kami. I learned from Coach Pia kasi na family tend to not listen to advice, dapat daw 3rd party. So the workshop was a really good venue.